A detective investigates a mystery involving his missing daughter and a secret government program.
My mission in writing for this website some years ago was to be fair to every movie I saw. I took a cue from the 1966 Smithsonian-level masterpiece called The Good, The Bad, and The ugly, and I use the title of that film to kinda format nearly every review I’ve done on this page except for one. At one point, I had more negative movie reviews than anybody else on this website for a solid month or two.
Although that means that I’ve been through more suffering than anybody on Spoiler Free Reviews, I oddly took that with a badge of pride. Even in those negative reviews, I’d managed to find some “good” to go along with the “bad” stuff (which is just stuff that usually bothers me and nobody else) and the “ugly” stuff (which is what I would consider generally irredeemable mistakes)
It never dawned on me that I would ever come across a movie that did not have a single good thing to its name. I also never thought that I would walk out on a film, no matter how bad it was. That something could be so grating, and that could insult my intelligence so thoroughly that to sit and finish it would be an insult to myself. I never could have thought that… Until I saw hypnotic.
I am baffled that Robert Rodriguez and Max Bornstein wrote this and that Ben Affleck has his name attached to this thing. I’m baffled that this got a summer release despite no press run or advertising. I’m baffled that this is a theatrical release in general, given that so many straight-to-DVD action films have scripts that are Tarantino-esque compared to this film. There is quite literally no good to be spoken of.
Affleck’s facial expression doesn’t change, and he’s clearly here either as a favor to Robert Rodriguez or for a check that he honestly does not need. Alice Braga, JD Pardo, and Jackie Earle Haley are trying their damnedest, but they are ice skating uphill because of the insufferable script. A script filled with so many gotcha moments when it comes to manipulating reality and characters not being who they say they are that it cancels out all the backstories that the first act builds up so that you will not know what the story is about by the end.
I walked out with 20 minutes left. I had to. There is no good here. There’s not even bad here. There is just ugly.
I cannot imagine a theatrical release that will be worse than this and after a day or so of thinking about it….I am sure this is one of the worst films I have ever seen in a movie theater.
Beware, hypnotic is playing in theaters now.